Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes Cote de Brouilly Cuvee des Ambassades
ans le Beaujolais, la France ne serait pas tout à fait la France. (Without Beaujolais, France would not quite be France.)
-Raymond Dumay, Guide du Vin 1967
This remains one of my absolutely favorite examples of Côte de Brouilly in the appellation and the wine deserves to be even better known.
-John Gilman, View From the Cellar, issue 85, 2020
Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes’ vineyards are the highest in Côte de Brouilly. The property comprises 12 hectares of vines, seven of them planted at least 40 years ago. The fruit from those old vines is used for the Cuvée des Ambassades bottling, which is one of the most delicate and precise wines in Beaujolais.
-Josh Raynolds, Changing Perspectives in Beaujolais, August 2021
Mont Brouilly rises to a height of nearly 1,600 feet, a lonely thumb of an old volcano sticking out of a plain, the first such geological skyscraper to be encountered as you drive west from the River Saône into this southern section of the Haut Beaujolais. It marks the beginning of the Beaujolais hills, and Laure Jambon-Mareau’s father Paul Jambon grew up in its shadow. (Indeed, as a boy in 1944 he cowered with his mother in Pavillon’s basement as German flankers, protecting the main column retreating north along the Saône, marched by on the road below and fired at partisans in the forest above–one of their shells pierced the trunk of a cherry tree a dozen feet away, and that tree can be seen in the final photo below over Laure’s left shoulder. It perished in 2021.)
The Roman cultivated vines on Mont Brouilly’s steep slopes, and almost certainly vines to one extent or another have been raised here ever since. Its crown is forested, much like the crown of Corton along the Côte d’Or. The summit was once part of Jambon’s Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes and was donated for the construction of the Chapel of our Lady of Brouilly, built to celebrate the victory over downy mildew (a fungus which wreaked havoc in Europe’s vineyards upon the heels of phylloxera—both American exports, along with those other two vine scourges, black rot and powdery mildew, or oidium).